I hate going to the salon. Whether it’s a beauty salon, hair salon or anywhere in between. I don’t care. I hate it. I know I’m supposed to love it (or at least tolerate it an awful lot), but I don’t. It’s stressful. I feel super anxious before my appointment, and usually during it, too. Beauty is meant to be fun, but sometimes it can turn into an ugly process when you can’t find the right people to help you navigate its many twists and turns.
The fact that I am not the greatest when it comes to doing my own hair and make-up doesn’t help, either. I don’t need some 19-year-old whiz-kid with perfect brows and impossibly flawless hair & make-up as my hairdresser/waxer/colorist. Seriously, universe. That joke is too old, and not even a little bit funny. I’d like for once to go to a beauty appointment and have the following things occur:
1. The salon employee is over the age of 25.
2. They do not resemble a supermodel. Or any of the Victoria Secret’s models. Nothing model-y, period. I don’t need Miranda Kerr’s freaking doppelgänger as my colorist.
3. They are able to conduct a conversation that doesn’t involve mentions of their ex-boyfriends or girlfriends, anything Twilight related or offering me any “helpful” tips where they suggest what I should be doing with my hair/make-up/body. Conversely they should also be able to make an educated guess when a client doesn’t want to talk. They should be able to do their jobs without needing to spew forth a flurry of inane babble.
4. Up-selling. Sweet Baby Jesus, how I hate having pushy beauty peeps attempt to up-sell me shit I don’t want. Don’t force your client to continually say “Not this time”. Take the hint. Yes, I know your boss probably “makes” you do it. But if they don’t jump at your first suggestion and start flinging all the insanely expensive products in the salon onto the counter with wild abandon, knock it the fuck off.
5. Probably the most important thing: KNOW HOW TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS. If I say I want my eyebrows to have a subtle arch, don’t give me drag queen brows. If I ask for subtle, ash blonde highlights, don’t give me yellow streaks. (Yes, both of these things happened to me). Clients don’t appreciate it when you wildly go off-plan. It usually means you had fun experimenting on their $$ and they’ve wound up with a look they’re less than thrilled with. Which leads us to…
Some free advice from an introvert: Don’t assume every client will speak up when they don’t like what you’ve done. Not every client you have is a dyed-in-the-wool, OTT extrovert who has no problem saying, “Nah, that’s not what I wanted at all. Can you make it less brassy?”
All of this makes me realize part of the problem is this: I’ve never really had good experiences at the salon. I’m not picky, but I do expect the same quality of service that would be afforded to anyone else. I wish there was a fool-proof way to match salons with clients, so everyone was happy with their salon-going experiences.
Now I’m off to find a salon who can do an eyebrow wax and shaping for me that:
A) Won’t cost the earth
B) Make me feel even less happy/confident than when I walked in the door.
How do you choose “the right” salon?
Photograph © Matthew Wilkinson.